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Judge knocks down Deerfield assault weapons ban

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* ABC 7

A Lake County judge blocked north suburban Deerfield’s ban on assault weapons with a ruling on Friday.

Last April, the Deerfield Village Board voted unanimously to ban some semi-automatic firearms. The amendment to the village’s gun ordinance would restrict firearms that village leaders define as assault weapons, such as AR-15s. The ordinance would also prohibits high-capacity magazines.

* Tribune

Citing a spate of recent mass shootings with high death counts, Deerfield trustees voted in April 2018 to ban possession of certain firearms such as the AR-15, AK-47 and Uzi under their home rule authority to protect public health, safety, morals and welfare.

Local gun owners and gun-rights groups were quick to file lawsuits claiming the village had missed its opportunity to ban assault weapons in 2013. The Illinois legislature had given municipalities until July 19 of that year to regulate assault weapons before a new Illinois Concealed Carry Act and an amended Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Act eliminated their ability to do so.

Deerfield officials said their 2018 ban was an amendment to an ordinance pertaining to assault weapons enacted within the permitted time frame. That ordinance defined assault weapons and required safe storage and transportation within the village.

In the ruling, Berrones found Deerfield’s measure to be a new ordinance and therefore preempted by state statute.

* Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson

“This is a big win for the 2nd Amendment,” Pearson said. “The Village of Deerfield had an opportunity to pass a ban in 2013 and failed to do so. Their ordinance is a clear violation of Illinois’ concealed carry law which was passed into law precisely because of the Supreme Court’s ruling on what municipalities could and could not do in terms of establishing their own gun laws. Today’s ruling reaffirms the US Supreme Court’s ruling and makes it clear that communities do not have the authority to enact more onerous gun laws than what is already codified in state statute. This is a very good day for those of us who put a premium on the 2nd Amendment freedoms afforded to us in the Constitution.”

* NRA…

“The NRA is proud to have supported this challenge to Deerfield’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This ruling affirms that every law-abiding Deerfield resident has the right to protect themselves, their homes, and their loved ones with the firearm that best suits their needs.”

The court found that Deerfield’s attempt to amend an existing firearm ordinance was a violation of state law. The ordinance would have allowed local authorities to confiscate and destroy semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines possessed within village limits.

The challenge was originally filed in 2018 by Guns Save Life with support from the NRA.

“Deerfield’s senseless ban on popular firearms and magazines imposed a major burden on the right of law-abiding Illinois citizens to defend themselves but did nothing to disarm criminals,” said John Boch, Executive Director of Guns Save Life. “We are relieved that under today’s ruling, Deerfield residents will continue to be able to keep their firearms and magazines at home.”

“The Illinois General Assembly was very clear that it would not allow local governments to adopt a confusing patchwork of gun regulations under the guise of banning so-called ‘assault weapons,’ ” said David H. Thompson of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “Deerfield’s ordinance plainly violates Illinois law, and we are pleased that the Court agreed.”

* Deerfield

The Village of Deerfield and our legal team are closely reviewing the ruling entered today and all options available, including the right to appeal the decision to the Illinois Appellate Court. On the positive side, the judge denied the plaintiff’s claims of a takings violation and of a wildlife statute violation.

With respect to the remainder of the decision, it appears that the judge focused less on Deerfield’s actions and more on the actions of the Illinois State Legislature back in 2013. The judge took issue with the way in which the State Legislature drafted the State statute, and he read into the statute a complete preemption of home rule authority to regulate assault weapons. This unprecedented interpretation of State legislative action and intent make this case ripe for appeal.


  1. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    These gun groups must be so very proud of themselves.

    I’m ashamed of the way the US treats guns. The gun groups hide behind the 2nd Amendment as if it enshrines their right to own any kind of firearm they want. They shrug their shoulders at attrocities such as those committed in New Zealand. It sickens me.

  2. - Todd - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    this is the third in a couple of days.

    Yesterday the Illinois Supreme court handed down Webb which adds to the 2A covers bearable arms and that includes stun guns and tasers and that the law against carrying them is unconstitutional

    Then you have a challenge to the FOID card act where it was found unconstitutional and is now on appeal tot he State Supreme Court

    Go ahead and try raising fees and fingerprints for a fundamental enumerated right, me thinks you gonna loose a whole lot more. . .

  3. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    I agree that you shouldn’t have a hodgepodge of local laws. Gun laws need to cover the entire state. So I agree with the ruling on that basis.

    But, I don’t agree with the stance that anyone needs an AR-15 or high capacity magazines. There is no legitimate reason to have either.

  4. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    You must be so proud Todd, after New Zealand and all, to fight back on stuff like this. Heaven forbid we restrict anything to do with guns, no matter how legitimate it is.

    I envy New Zealand and their ability to come back right away and tell people enough is enough.

  5. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    The gun manufacturers have no choice but to fight tooth and nail in the US for every little town that bans assault weapons because they have no market internationally.

  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    It amazes me that it just took one mass shooting in the New Zealand for a ban on assault weapons to happen in a few days but here in the US, despite all of the mass shootings involving assault weapons, we can’t get it done. There is absolutely no logical reason why the average citizen needs an assault weapon. We need to stop only thinking about profits and think about human life.

  7. - Responsa - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    Deerfield did not handle this well both in the timing and the depth of the fines and confiscations in their amendment to the village gun ordinance. Some residents pushed for it. But some residents who are otherwise generally in favor of gun control measures thought the board went to far too fast without sufficient discussion or understanding or care about how this would play against Illinois law. It will be interesting to see if the village has the stomach to mount an appeal.

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    Great decision. Hopefully this will help stop the erosion of the 2A.

    We can fight gun violence and protect the second amendment. We need to enforce the FOID laws in this state.

  9. - I Miss Bentohs - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    Since these shootings are always done by middle aged white men, just ban guns from them and I think this kind of violence ends.

  10. - Todd - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    Demoralized –

    NZ had a licensing law and other requirements. It didn’t stop it.

    Illinois with its FOID and all the other BS didn’t stop Aurora because of failures at every level of the system. And so when a gun control system fails, the answer by many is to pile for regulations, fees and bans on the people who didn’t do it. NO.

    Yea you and the other wannabe tin-pot dictators like having law by fiat. Well thankfully some wise old men created a republic with a Constitution that says otherwise.

    Keep pushing for more bans and more control and We’ll start taking a chainsaw to what left of the statutes. Don’t forget we have New York Pending at SCOTUS and I think you will be sadly disappointed at that ruling.

    Funny thing about rights, the majority doesn’t get to dictate who gets them

  11. - Anontasaur - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    I think many people who would normally get behind these ‘common sense’ gun laws are turned off by New Zealand’s new legislation. It’s overly restrictive. It bans all firearms capable of holding more than 5 rounds of ammunition. It goes way beyond just banning ‘weapons of war.’ Gun owners don’t want to give a little because they know that the other side wants to take a lot.

  12. - Contrarian - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    …”Since these shootings are always done by middle aged white men, just ban guns from them and I think this kind of violence ends.”…
    Yet they never seem to be Republicans nor NRA members

  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    == some wise old men created a republic with a Constitution that says otherwise. ==

    Some wise old men who used single shot muskets and could never imagine the destructive power of modern weapons. Every other amendment changes of time except the Second. The Court knows its in the 21st century when it decides First Amendment cases, but pretends its still the 18th century when it comes to gun rights.

  14. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    come on State officials. get it done.

  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 9:55 pm:

    –Funny thing about rights, the majority doesn’t get to dictate who gets them.–

    Yeah, from Little Rock to Selma to Stonewall and beyond, you NRA types have always been the tip-of-the-spear on minority rights.

    Self-parody, dude.

  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 10, 19 @ 12:58 am:

    I don’t think any of you anti-gun crackpots have a “legitimate reason” to have a computer, cell phone, or social media. The boys and I were just talking about it and we are going to take them all from you “just to be safe”. We can’t risk having you insight violence or promoting hate speech.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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